by Sophie Ilbert
What can we tell you about 2016? Quite frankly, it was a difficult pain in the ass here at Combel-la-Serre. To start, we had hail in early April during buding, something that has never happened here according to Julien's father Jean-Pierre! We were definitely affected but at that point it was impossible to quantify the damages.
From there, mother nature decided that to give us a rainy Spring, to the point where we thought the May and June downpours would never end. This led to a lot of coulure and many of the buds not flowering. This was followed by a hot summer, too hot even. It culminated with a 10 day heat wave in August.
By September, the vines were completely stressed and were like a deer in headlights: they were not maturing at all, with no evolution in the sugars or PH. The only thing that saved us was a nice after-season that let the plants get the their final cycle before harvest. In 2016, we averaged 22hl per hectare, when a good year in Cahors lets you get around 50...